2 From October 1871 into 1873, mass arrests and federal prosecutions “broke the back of the Ku Klux Klans” after which Southern violence took on new form



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South Carolina
During 1868 considerable, but largely uncoordinated Klan activity centered in the northwestern Piedmont counties. Klan vigilantes suppressed interracial vice and sexual relationships, suppressed black voting during the election, and especially in Abbeville, terrorized blacks with whippings and an arson. Klansmen perpetrated one documented murder, in Union County. In 1869 violence recurred in Abbyville County, Edgefield, and upland counties such as Laurens. After the 1869 elections, some violence was perpetraeed as far south as Clarendon and Sumner Counties, and in the inland counties of Lancaster and Fairfield. Anti-Republican and anti-militia violence mostly shifted to Spartanburg, Union, Chester, and York County however, which “was reduced to a state of near anarchy” in 1871, precipitating federal intervention.1 Encompassing 1800 of the 2300 County’s adult white male residents the Klan targeted blacks, assaulting 600 and murdering eleven, which precipitated a retaliatory campaign of arson. Despite the dispatch of federal troops, subsequent Klan raids disrupted the black militia, cowed the local black population and expelled the county’s Radical leader.2 From October 1871 into 1873, mass arrests and federal prosecutions “broke the back of the Ku Klux Klans” after which Southern violence took on new forms.3

The Second Klan also operated in Piedmont areas such as Columbia and Greenville as well as the coastal terraces. It made little headway in the coastal plains, and, overall, had a negligible impact in the state.4 The Klan remained active in the western textile centers of Anderson and greenville counties, threatening voters in Greenville in 1930.5
Unaffiliated klaverns remained active in these areas as of 1950, when Tom Hamilton began organizing in the agricultural counties of Horry and Columbus, where they engaged in a two year campaign of flogging that eventually resulted in passage of a state anti-mask law and federal prosecutions.6

Perhaps due to the ineffectiveness of Citizens Council type resistance organizations in South Carolina,7 the 1955 Brown decision spurred the first Klan meeting in more than two years, with 500 people attending a June rally in Sumter.8 The Association of South Carolina Klans (ASCK), operating out of Columbia, was launched that? fall9 or sept 56 by fomer AGK official10 and, according to the NAACP, organized scores of local units.11 In fall 1955 a black church was torched, and NAACP activist DeLaine rreturned fire upon nightriders who had fired upon his home. Charged by SC authorities with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, he fled to New York.12 In 1957, six members of a dissident faction in Camden known as the “Holy Terrors” were arrested in connection with December 27 floggings of a pro-integrationist speaker.13

In the 1960s, Klan organizers were particularly active in the Abbeville and Anderson County textile industries, leading a 1963 strike in Andrews.14 In 1961, U.S. Klans members under Grand Dragon Robert Scoggin of Spartanburg broke off to join the newly forming United Klans of America. By early 1964 the UKA was operating 20 Klaverns in the state. According to HUAC investigators, fifty UKA Klaverns, populated by about 800 Klansmen, came to operate at one time or another between 1964-1966, making South Carolina the UKA’s second largest realm.15

In fall 1955, Rev. J. A. DeLaine was forced to flee South Carolina after he fired two shots at a car full of white men who had fired on his home. DeLaine had endured the burning of his Summerton home and stone throwing at his new house in Lake City, and the burning of his church. He received a letter threatening dynamite only three days before the shooting occurred, yet South Carolina authorities issued warrant for his arrest on charges of assault and battery.16 In September 1956, Clarendon County Klansmen fired on the home of a local NAACP leader and set fire to his uncle’s church.17 In late 1957 or early 1958, a white man assaulted the executive director of the SCCHR in her office.18 In general however, South Carolina law enforcement authorities kept Klan vigilance under control between 1947-1957, monitoring Klan meetings and maintaining law and order during civil rights protests.19 In 1951 nightriders had flogged two crippled men in Horry County, resulting in four arrests.20 Little over a year later, five Klansmen were charged with bombing the Gaffeny home of Claudia Thomas Sanders, a racial moderate who had written an article that advocated school integration and “dismissed fears of interracial marriage.”21 Four of 11 tried ASCK for beating bm assoc w ww, resulting in severing of relaitons and launch of Palmetto Knights in April 59, inactive since Spring 5922 or eight white men convicted of beating Greenville resident Claude Cruell in July 1957 received prison sentences, and six more were arrested for beating a white teacher in Camden.23 Two bombings and one attempted of Gaffney homes. In December, five Cherokee County unit Klansmen were arrested for bombing the Gaffney home of a man who had advocated racial moderation. Two prosecuted but acquitted.24 Seven months later, Spartanburg Klansman Phillip Thomas Mabry was arrested on charges of auto theft.25

Despite reports of Klan-sponsored bombing seminars and advocacy of vigilantism however, few incidents of Klan violence occurred in South Carolina during the 1960s either.26 Acording to an FBI informant, the ASCK promoted white supremacy and combated integration by peaceful means.27 Between 1959-1963, Governor Ernest F. Hollings centralized state law enforcement, pressuring State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) Chief JP “Pete” Strom and local Sheriffs to circumvent local police, and sent reliable officers to trouble spots and pulled local police off-duty to avert local clashes. Joseph Luders has concluded that
certain areas of South Carolina might have been more intransigent to change had state law enforcement not intervened at the behest of the Governor to limit the actions of sympathetic local authorities. To the extent that the civil rights movement thrived on confrontations to draw national attention to injustice, the judicious use law enforcement, combined with non-violent suppression of civil rights activity, may have weakened civil rights activity.
During the YEAR Martin Luther King Jr.-led demonstrations in Rock Hill, for example, Hollings pulled city police off duty and used black police from SLED and other State and local police forces to arrest demonstrators, and no incidents of police brutality were reported. During the Freedom Rides police arrested 20 white vigilantes for assault and then escorted them through the state. Hollings has also claimed that SLED surveillance reduced Klan membership during his tenure.

This policy continued under Donald S. Russell (1963-1965). SLED officers monitored segregationists during the integration of Clemsen College in January 1963, and during the Orangeburg protests later that year, Russell sent Strom, several other SLED agents, and dozens highway patrolmen to maintain order. A Citizens’ Council field secretary complained that he had been arbitrarily detained and questioned.28 In September 1964, five Klansmen were arrested near West Columbia for burning a cross on the grounds of the Governor’s mansion.29 According to two of the suspects, the arrests “completely demoralized persons interested in joining the UKA.”30 In April 1965, state law enforcement officers and Newberry County Sheriff’s officers arrested a Columbia policeman as one of a band of hooded and robed men who had broken into a jail, beaten and threatened a black prisoner charged with resisting arrest in Prosperity South Carolina.31

Indication that Klansmen failed to intimidate South Carolinians was revealed when local white High School students made forty signs ridiculing the Order and put them up along highways in the Johnsonville-Hemingway-Indiantown district, to counter Klansmen assembling for a meeting in Hemingway.32 The Hemingway mayor, along with various civic, governmental and business organizations had publicly expressed strong opposition to the rally.33 The State Democratic Party Chairman rejecting political support from the Klan, denouncing the organization as an extremist fringe group.34

Moreover, black self-defense groups also deterred Klan activity. In April 1966 for example, fourteen black men claiming to be Deacons attacked and beat four Klansmen who were putting up signs in Colleton County.35 According to black civil rights movement veteran Victoria DeLee, Blacks in Lowland South Carolina communities such as Reidsville and Dortchester, engaged “extensively in armed self-defense.”36

As of October 1964, Savannah-based agents reported that the ASCK KKKK had one active Klavern, in West Columbia SC, which had recently conducted several rallies, but was characterized by internal dissention over decision-making processes.37 They argued that the FBI should launch no covert action against lest the non-violent group be replaced by the UKA, then organizing west of Columbia, in Olanta and Cheraw.38 Instead, to develop informants, FBI agents interviewed Klansmen without antagonizing them.39 Although the ASCK grew to encompass six Klaverns, according to HUAC, COINTELPRO did not target the group.40

As in other states however, COINTELPRO immediately set out to undermine UKA organizing. After Charlotte North Carolina-based agents learned that Robert Scoggin was receiving $300 per month from the Veteran’s Administration as a 100% disabled veteran, even though he was operating a plumbing business, they alerted the VA authorities, prompting an investigation.41 At the HUAC Hearings, Chief Investigator Don Appell "hammered away" at Scoggin's eligibility, introducing evidence that he did not use a cane, was employable, and in 1964 had deposited $15,690 in three bank accounts while reporting an income of $574 to the VA.42

After the Veteran's Administration cut Scoggin's disability rating, the Fiery Cross protested:
Such acts of harassment and intimidation-unethical, unmoral, unChristian and unAmerican, by men who heretofor have taken a solemn oath to uphold the Constitution-are the meat upon which feed modern day Caesars and upon which the Hitlers and Castros of the world wax fat, powerful, and corrupt.43
Appell also produced checks that Scoggin had cashed instead of depositing in the UKA bank account.44 Shill method and allegation $150 went missing at June 20 1965 rally on capital steps.45 Drunken driving arrest in Klan provided automobile.46 HUAC Hearings: Scoggin: Heritage Garment Works,47 explosives training by Furman Dean Williams.48 Id State and Klavern officers and klaverns.49 IRS investigation of finances and not pay tax/SC rescue Service.50 Maddox on UKA oath supercede constitution?51 Scoggin quizzed on secretive SC unit called the Underground, that engaged in pm raining.52 Chief State Law Enforcement officer J. P. Strom asserted that these allegations had caused concern among Klansmen and that Klan leaders had lost confidence of rank and members over the 5th Amendment issue.53
In the context of COINTELPRO intensification in January 1966, FBI executives assimilated a newly opened Columbia office into the program.54 At this point, according to HUAC, the UKA had organized seventeen Klaverns across the north and east of the state.55 As of March, Columbia agents had acquired the addresses of 450 South Carolina Klansmen.56 At the end of April, twenty-five Klansmen rallying near Beaufort attracted 200 people, half of them curiosity seekers who stayed in their cars.57 By this time, “numerous rank and file” UKA members had become “dissatisfied” with financial administration in the Realm, prompting several unit leaders to make a “concerted effort” to investigate allegations of embezzlement, so that they could “try to replace [Scoggin]” at an upcoming state meeting.58 Dissention over finances caused [Scoggin] to temporarily resign his position, but after regaining the full backing of rank and file members and the majority of South Carolina officers, he rescinded his resignation.59

To cause “confusion, distrust and general demoralization” FBI agents also conducted aggressive interviews.60 In June 1966, they interviewed twenty-five individuals from thirteen South Crolina Klaverns, including eleven Klavern officers and three Realm officers.61 They interviewed all State officers, to “place suspicion” on [5] during the ongoing power struggle.62 Members of the Columbia klavern began suspecting one of their members, who had received a letter at the Klan-operated Heritage Garment Works, of being an FBI informant.63 Columbia agents also mailed 215 postcards in mid June, and 249 more in late July, causing enough concern among Klansmen that some considered quitting lest they lose employment.64 In late August, agents mailed three different postcards and two letters from various areas of South Carolina to UKA Headquarters in Tuscaloosa, “with appropriate comments regarding the July 1966 Fiery Cross articles” that had refuted the NCDT’s existence.65 They also mailed 259 copies of the third Bureau postcard from Roanoke Virginia, to “increase suspicion” by [9], a UKA officer, that [9, 4], an ASCK organizer who had been transferred to Roanoke, had sent the pink postcards.66 Suspecting the Justice Department or the FBI however, [Bureau deletion] made plans to reproduce and re-mail the cards.67

In late November, as a “direct result of counterintelligence and informant utilization in the 6th Province, two officers of the Dillon Klavern were banished” causing the Klavern to dissolve.68 The great dissention that had ensued, however, also caused concern that a militant Klan officer named Steve Broadway might benefit from the shakeup. “[Broadway] may be placed into position of [12] of the South Carolina realm in the very near future” given that “[Broadway] has in past been very antagonistic toward FBI. If elected to [12] he could, “intensify activity . . . due to his militant attitude.”69 To prevent this, agents created a notional note to [Broadway] which framed him as informant and then forwarded it in a second envelope postmarked from his hometown of Camden South Carolina, and addressed to [Scoggin], along with a note indicating that the sender had ‘found’ it.70 [Scoggin] became very upset about the letter,71 and came to believe not only that Broadway was an FBI informant, but that he was embezzling Klan funds.72 In April, he fired him.73

As Scoggin and Broadway filed charges and counter charges against each other with the State and national UKA Boards, aggressive interviews and FBI informants continued “to encourage internal dissention and instability” in the Realm. As Klansmen took sides in the controversy and accused one another of informing, recruiting and membership declined. This caused a financial crisis in the Realm treasury, necessitating an increase in dues for those who remained loyal. In March, the Hemingway Klavern pulled out of the UKA and formed an independent Klan group. By this time, informants had provoked members of the 20 Klaverns located in South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District to begin “giving serious consideration to pulling out completely and severing all relationships with the UKA.” The dissidents comprised fifty-percent of all Klan members in the state.74 Shelton was asked to replace the South Carolina grand Dragon.75

By May, effective counter charges by two banished officers had caused all but three Klaverns to stop paying monthly dues. As informants continued to “seize every opportunity to increase dissension in the various Klan units,” thirteen Klaverns became inactive.76 At a 5th Province meeting in Sumter attended by 52 UKA officers on June 11, [5] attempted, but was prevented from reading a National Intelligence Committee letter concerning the concurrent controversy in North Carolina, and [Bureau deletion] attempted to bring up charges of embezzlement and personal misconduct against Scoggin. As Klansmen argued over the loyalties of the State weekly bulletin’s typist, it was announced that State finances were in very poor condition.77 Although 250-300 people turned out to a rally in Charleston on July 15 and 400 the next day in Bishopville, an informant reported that Shelton privately admitted that South carolina Klan membership had declined by 70 percent.78

On August 27 1967, Robert Scoggin was deposed and banished from the UKA forever. Harry Gilliam was appointed to replace him on September 11. Animosity against Scoggin continued to fester however, and many Klaverns continued to withhold dues.79 In the first days of November, SLED Chief J. P. Strom reported that due to “internal fighting and dissatisfaction with the handling of money and the leadership,” KKK membership in South Carolina had dwindled to no more than 700-800.80 Within weeks, a newspaper reporter exposed the Klan’s involvement in circulation of Wallace for President petitions. An Klan offer of a $500 reward to anyone who could identify the “pimp” who had leaked the newsletter also received widespread publicity through the major wire services, resulting in “embarrassment.” Newsletter circulation fell as the newsletter was thus forced to stop carrying information that could prove detrimental if exposed to non-Klansmen.81 Through the effective use of informants, two UKA state officers quit, causing “furthering unrest and disruption throughout the state.”82 SLED announced a further decline in Klan membership and activity, as UKA officials notified Klaverns that they will lose their charters if they did not pay dues.83

In February 1968, three black teenagers were shot to death during riots over desegregation of a bowling alley in Orangeburg. Eight-hundred national guardsmen imposed a dawn to dusk curfew, and an official State of Emergency prevented the UKA or Black Power groups from rallying there.84 As Black Power groups became increasingly active on University campuses and High schools that Spring,85 COINTELPRO began to target them in earnest.86 Despite the rise of Black Power however, UKA membership shrunk.87 Agents directed informants “to continue their efforts in undermining the Klan,” resulting in a drop in active membership to 600, in 26 klaverns, by April 1968. By this time, South Carolina realm had lost five State officers, and all but four of the remaining officers had become inactive.88 As a “direct result of informant efforts” between February and April, “[bureau deletion] in the complete disruption and inactivation of the Boiling Springs Klavern, bringing widespread discredit on the Klan through the release of information through the news media.”

In July, agents reported that both UKA and ASCK were “ridden with disruption among members and officers” and that “interest at very low ebb.” They continued to use [bureau deletion] as disruptive influences throughout the realm.89 By September, South Carolina UKA membership had fallen to 279, in 21 klaverns. The ASCK had 47 in 7 Klaverns, for a total Klan membership 650. [17] was “perform[ing poorly, keeping Klan divided and membership down,” and agents “continue[d] to use informants as disruptive influences.”90 By December, it appeared almost certain that “through the direction of our informants, [Scoggin] would resign.”91 In March 1969 Robert Scoggin entered prison to serve out his contempt of Congress conviction. Within two months, South Carolina state officers met at Andrews and banished him from the UKA.92 Scoggins’ “self picked successor and next door neighbor” Harry Gilliam succeeded him.93

Apparently, an FBI counterintelligence operation played some role in a desegregation controversy that required US Marshalls to enforce a court order allowing Native American children to transfer to white schools in Ridgeville.94 In March 1970 however, a white mob attacked two buses carrying black children in Lamar.95 Since substantial integration of South Carolina schools was scheduled to occur in Fall 1970, the release of Scoggin and Shelton from federal prison raised significant concern among FBI agents.96

Particularly upset over the loss of Klaverns in Beaufont and Jasper as well as steadily declining rally attendance under Gilliam, Scoggin attempted to reestablish membership in the UKA and recruit Klansmen to his leadership.97 Shelton sided with Gilliam however, and the UKA obtained a court order refraining Scoggin from using the name “United Klans, South Carolina Realm, KKKK." In retaliation, Scoggin accused Shelton of trying to turn the UKA into a "dictatorship" and accused Gilliam of putting "fifth grade dropouts on the state board."98 Claiming that he possessed papers stolen from Robert Shelton’s briefcase, Scoggin attempted to expose the Imperial Wizard as a member of the Anti-Defamation League.99






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